23 March 2017

The South Mall, Cork City’s historical business district, will see a revival with the construction of a brand new state of the art office block on its Eastern end which will accommodate 450 jobs with five floors of offices.


JCD Group, the Cork based property development company who are behind major recent Cork developments such as One Albert Quay, The Capitol and City Gate in Mahon, are today lodging a planning application for a €30 million new office development that will help rejuvenate the Eastern end of the South Mall and bring footfall and jobs to this City Centre location.


The prime 0.34-acre central site on 85 South Mall will bring 50,000 sq ft of Grade A Gold LEED office space to the market in 2018. The new five storey office building which includes 85 and 86 South Mall also extends to include two additional sites to the North which will border Crane Lane, Phoenix Street and Smith Street with the main entrance lobby onto the South Mall.


Subject to receiving viable planning permission, JCD intends to commence construction immediately and will work towards a completion date of late Summer 2018.


The development of City Centre offices is critical to help Cork attract new employers particularly in the context of technology companies and possible Brexit relocations. International occupiers in the adjacent 89/90 South Mall building include high growth US technology companies Cylance and Eventbrite. Historically, this type of occupier has tended to gravitate towards larger cities like Dublin, London and Amsterdam when looking to establish an initial footprint in Europe however It is understood that the South Mall and Corks City Centre has proved to be extremely popular with these early stage tech companies and that the new building will be attractive as a location for this type of foreign direct investment.


Welcoming the news, Minister Simon Coveney said “This is a very positive new development in the City Centre providing new office accommodation to enable Cork to compete on both a national and international level for Foreign Direct Investment. It will also contribute to the vibrancy of the South Mall and deliver more job opportunities in the heart of the City Centre.”


Cork Chamber CEO Conor Healy commented there is a need for projects such as this to attract FDI “It is most welcome to see new high quality office buildings being developed in Cork's historic business district. Significant market opportunities currently exist for technology and services organisations seeking locations in Europe with the best of skills, access and a supportive business environment. To meet the needs of such globally oriented businesses we need to ensure ongoing delivery of the necessary business infrastructure which includes office infrastructure of this nature.”


The opening of the new flexible working space, Republic of Work, in 12 South Mall, existing operations like Zazzle and Facebook’s acquisition of Cork based start up InfiniLED, as well as the recent announcement by San Francisco start up NGiNX to create 100 jobs, further adds to the city’s reputation as location for high growth FDI. The building design, by award-winning architects Henry J Lyons, will provide space for 450 people to work in Professional Services, Technology or Financial services in Grade A Gold LEED standard offices on the South Mall. The plans show a modern smooth stone and glass edifice facing the South Mall down the length of Phoenix St, with similar finishes onto Smith Street and Crane Lane.


JCD spokesman: “We believe this is an excellent office location in the heart of the City Centre and represents a real opportunity to deliver grade A office space to Gold LEED standard on the South Mall. As we complete the final stages of the Capitol with now only one floor of office space unreserved, it shows real commitment to continue our investment in Cork City Centre. If Cork is going to continue to compete internationally for FDI, it is critical that there is a steady pipeline of Grade A office space available.”


The spokesman went on to say that in addition to the 450 city centre jobs that will be accommodated once the project is complete, the project would also sustain 125 construction jobs throughout the build program. It is understood that the tenant line-up for the Capitol should be announced shortly.